Manners Matter: Party Etiquette

Need to leave early? Wasn’t invited? Tired of playing host? Etiquette
blogger Janine Ottley breaks down the basics of party etiquette.

1. What do you do if the party’s always at your house…and you
don’t always want it to be?

The bottom line is that if you have a welcoming home, that’s a great
compliment. If you’ve made it a natural gathering place by providing food
for teens, a swimming pool, a movie theater, etc…than thank your lucky
stars they are at your house and not off doing things they shouldn’t be. In
large gatherings, when it’s expected that you will host because your house
seems to best accommodate the circumstance, think about how that will
impact you and your family, does it work for you? Can you afford it (if
costs end up at your door), and lastly, learn how to graciously decline.
(Brooke- I don’t know how much time we have for this segment, so
depending, I can give an example for each type of thing)

2. What to do if your child’s not invited to the neighborhood
birthday party?

I asked a lot of moms about this one. It seems to be something that
happens fairly frequently, whether an oversight or on purpose. We should
never be bullies…and inviting everyone BUT your child on the street to a
party is a form of bullying- not only that but you are teaching your child
they can have whatever they want in life and they never have to worry about
how others will feel, only themselves. If there is a legitimate concern about
the child being left out, it should be assertively but politely addressed with
the parent (and I mean the parent who’s child doesn’t want to invite). If this
is the first time it’s happened to your child with this particular family, it’s
up to you whether or not to get involved. I like to teach my children that
there are things that will happen that are simply not fair, but that we
should always apply the golden rule. If you don’t like how it felt to be left
out, include everyone when it’s your turn and be the bigger person.

3. How do you exit a party early without looking like a party

I think Honesty without TMI is always the best policy. The entire party
doesn’t need to know that your home is a huge mess and you need to go
clean, you have errands that have to be done, you’re not feeling well. This
doesn’t mean you cannot explain to the hostess. I think simply stating
something like, “thank you so much for inviting us, it’s been lovely,” or
“we’ve had the best time, but we need to go. I will call you later and thanks
again.” Then follow through. How much you explain is up to you, but the
most important thing, I believe, is showing up. If you need to leave, make
sure you thank your host and if you know before hand that you will have to
exit early, let them know you will only be able to stay for a little while.

I did have friends say that they blame it on the baby (when it in fact may
not be) or blame it on their spouse. I believe that if you tell the truth, you
never have to remember what you said…which works for me as I have no
memory of what happened last week. Be honest but be simple and realize
that your host is still hosting a party…and it WILL go on without you.

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